Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: April 2013 / Informe mensual abril 2013
A PDF version of the El Salvador Update is available here. A PDF version of the April 2013 Peacemaking Chronology is available here. Versión en formato PDF aquí. If you would like to receive the Monthly El Salvador Update via email, contact: ElSalvadorUpdate@democracyinamericas.org. Summary: In the midst of political bickering, economic… read more »
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: March 2013 / Informe mensual marzo 2013
A PDF version of the El Salvador Update is available here. A PDF version of the March 2013 Peacemaking Chronology is available here. Versión en formato PDF aquí. If you would like to receive the Monthly El Salvador Update via email, contact: ElSalvadorUpdate@democracyinamericas.org. Summary: March was a month of anniversaries in… read more »
Monday, March 4th, 2013 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: February 2013 / Informe mensual febrero 2013
It has been nearly a year since El Salvador’s nascent and still-controversial gang truce started. During the night of March 8-9, 2012, under the cover of darkness, gang leaders were transferred from maximum to minimum security prisons, and so began the peace process that continues to this day. Within days, the homicide rate dropped dramatically. As a result, El Salvador is no longer on the list of the world’s most violent counties and security no longer leads the list of Salvadorans’ concerns.
Monday, February 4th, 2013 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: January 2013/ Informe mensual enero 2013
January 16th was the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords that ended El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. Once again, it was a time for reflection on the successes and limitations of the agreement and its implementation. In the context of a very difficult economic and fiscal environment, and the evolving gang truce and peace process, the principal post-war critique from the left remains: despite the Funes Administrations’ efforts to comply with the spirit of that historic document, the fundamental causes of the war – poverty and exclusion – remain. “Peace doesn’t just mean the absence of war,” Vice-President Sánchez Cerén declared, “as long as there is injustice and inequality in the country, there will be violence in the country.”
Monday, January 7th, 2013 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: December 2012/El Salvador: Informe mensual diciembre del 2012
A PDF version of the El Salvador Update is available here. A PDF version of the December Peacemaking Chronology is available here. Versión en formato PDF aquí. Summary: 2012 in Review On January 16th 2012, Salvadorans celebrated the 20th anniversary of the peace agreement that ended El Salvador’s civil war. Most,… read more »
Monday, December 3rd, 2012 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: November 2012
Salvadorans were relieved by President Barack Obama’s re-election, thus ensuring the continuation of the strategic partnership between the Obama and Funes administrations. “I am pleased,” President Funes commented, because “this gives continuity to the programs we are developing.” Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez expressed the hope of the government that President Obama “focuses on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform” in January. Versión en español en formato PDF aquí.
Friday, November 2nd, 2012 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: October 2012
Eight months into the truce between Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, El Salvador’s homicide rate has been drastically reduced and the developing peace process has begun to engage Salvadoran society.
Out of the blue, the U.S. Treasury Department made an announcement on October 11th designating MS-13 as a dangerous transnational criminal organization on par with the world’s largest and most sophisticated criminal enterprises. However, according to President Funes and his security team, the decision will not affect El Salvador’s peace process. Still, the underlying motivations behind the decision and the consequences for El Salvador are uncertain.
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: August-September 2012
After a long, hot summer of fierce political battles, marathon negotiating sessions, and international pressure, on August 19th political leaders reached an agreement on the contentious issue of Supreme Court justices. The clash over the constitutionality of elections to the Supreme Court was considered by some analysts to be the most serious political crisis since the 1992 Peace Accords. The settlement – mediated by President Funes – was presented as a Solomonic decision with both ARENA and the FMLN making concessions. But, it would appear that the FMLN and its allied parties conceded a little less: the new president of the Constitutional Court— and thus of the full Supreme Court – is José Salomon Padilla, a member of the FMLN.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: July 2012
During July, the two-month old constitutional crisis in El Salvador inflamed hostilities, paralyzed the judiciary, and produced two parallel Supreme Courts. Making matters more complicated, each court had its own president, supporters and personnel with each claiming legitimacy under the Constitution. The skirmish between legislators and the Supreme Court – a clash of political powers in anticipation of the 2014 presidential contest – is another chapter in the protracted war between left and right. This chapter has been distinguished by a confusing array of alliances, international involvement, and a lack of substantive discussion of what one court or the other could mean to a country that has never had the benefit of a fully functioning, honest, and qualified judiciary.
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 | Linda Garrett
El Salvador Update: June 2012
On June 14th, after two years of political bickering in Washington, Mari Carmen Aponte was finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to El Salvador. During her one-year tenure (2010-11) under a recess appointment Aponte won friends and influenced people across the political spectrum. “She never should have been forced to abandon her post,” President Obama declared following the confirmation. Aponte returned to El Salvador on June 30th – a critical moment – when diplomatic leverage may be of use in resolving the developing institutional/political crisis between Salvadoran legislators and the Supreme Court.